Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"First Date" by Melody Carlson

This short book really surprised me.  I thought it'd be superficial and a quick boring read designed for teeny-boppers.  I was wrong.  As the pages kept turning, I found myself engrossed in the story.  The plot was detailed while not being too complex; I could put the book down for a couple days and come back without missing a beat.  I also liked how this book was culturally relevant and current.  References to iPads and Facebook were made, and you could not really tell that this book was not written by a teen.  It's not an easy task for a middle aged writer to write a teen story that seems real.  Anyway, Carlson accomplished that.  I also like how this book is not graphic but does not shy away from serious topics.  The issues of date rape, chastity, peer pressure, and more are addressed.  There is real life drama as we learn about the characters' families--from divorce to racism to death.  I also liked how when discussing makeovers, Carlson weaves into the story how everyone has a different type of beauty.  For instance, one character wants to look like another girl with long hair.  However, when she goes to a stylist, she is encouraged to get a short haircut because not everyone looks good with long hair.  This is just a small thing, but it gets the point across to young readers that they don't have to look like everybody else to be beautiful.  I recommend this book to others.     

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